Crystal Ball

One of the hardest things any of us can do is look toward our financial future. (No, daydreaming about winning the lottery doesn't count.) It's not surprising that our crystal ball has grown a bit cloudy lately, since our culture continually encourages us to live in the moment, to seek the instant gratification of our every desire. Unfortunately, indulging these temptations has serious consequences, not just to our bank account on a day-to-day basis, but to our decision-making processes overall. By adopting the attitude that says "Buy first, think later," we run the risk of regarding our money as something merely to be spent, rather than as a tool we can use to improve our lives over the long term.